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OPINION: The Psychosis of Duality

by M. Dean, published

Duality. Duel. Dynamic Duo. Two.

Sometimes against; yet, sometimes together.

I propose an examination of our apparent love affair with Comic Book and Sci-Fi movies since there is so much money invested in movies pitting "dark sides" against "light" Jedis. (Admittedly, my bias is that I slumber through such cultural followings as The Lord of the Rings; I only rustle from my slumber when the orcs run through the forests).

Simply put: I see our movie taste as reflective if not correlative to our cultural obsession with two-sides. There are two sides to everything: two Super Bowl teams, two World Series teams, two Stanley Cup Finalists, an American League East and West, two Final contestants on American Idol, the Voice, God and Satan, and 2 major parties.

And, these forces are always at odds, two steam engines working against each other -- “liberal” and “conservative” fits neatly into this logic.

Democrats against Republicans. Pro-life. Pro-choice.

I wonder every time I teach the story of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” or “The Scarlet Letter,” if American society is still in the process of shaking off the influence of Puritan Values with harsh punishment for breaking the rules. Regardless of the rule itself, if it was broken, harsh punishment ensued -- the letter A, professing your greatest sin to the world, or a good ole tar and feathering for a crime.

To be short: immense retribution for “sin” or wrongdoing. Essentially, the Puritan, staunch in their belief in the Almighty pitted every man against His enemy, Satan, an unappreciative, up and coming bastard.

Good versus Evil. Evil versus Good.

Does the two-party system fit into this Puritan mold? Is your side "good" and the other "evil"?

While the formula seems so simple, perhaps it is just that: simple. For all that our human endeavors have taught us...does this not appear too narrow?

Duality -- the psychosis and otherwise influence of it -- ought to be studied in a real sense. It could make a difference in the way people approach partisan thinking.

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